Halli Sveinsson is stumpy and swarthy, with a quick mind and an aptitude for getting in trouble. Bored with everyday chores and shepherding, he enjoys playing practical jokes. When he plays a trick on Ragnar of the House of Hakonsson, he sets in motion a chain of events that will forever alter his destiny. He is forced to leave home and go on a hero's quest complete with highway robbers, terrifying monsters, and a girl who may be as fearless as he is. Along the way he will discover the truth about the legends, his family, and himself.
Jonathan Stroud (www.jonathanstroud.com) is the author of the New York Times best-selling Bartimaeus Trilogy, as well as The Leap, The Last Siege, and Buried Fire. He lives in England.